Looking for a Game I Played That May Not Have Been a Game

Hive-mind, I have a question. I’m trying to find a piece of software (hopefully it’s been updated a few generations) that I used in the mid- to late-1980s. There’s a 25% chance that it was for the Apple II plus, a 35% chance that it was for Windows 3.1, and maybe a 40% chance that it was DOS. It had a German name, I’m 90% certain it began with a “Z.” It may have even been “Zettelkasten.”

I didn’t use it for “Smart-Noting,” I thought it was a game, a murder-mystery-solving game. It had virtual 3 x 5 cards. You could write one item on it, maybe 100 characters? You could tag each card with a 15-character tag and mark it with colors indicating

  • who
  • what
  • where
  • why
  • when
  • or how


Then the fun began. You had two kinds of windows to then look at the data. If you used it sort-of like a spreadsheet, you could sort it in various ways. That was kind of useful, but I tended to prefer the window where you “dropped the cards all over the floor and drag them when you thought you saw relationships.” Either way, when you looked at the information, you would often see a new bit of information based on what you could see. And then you would create a new card.

Does anyone else remember seeing this software? How difficult would it be to create?

I’ve Already Decided That One Productivity Tool Is Not Quite for Me

Every year, usually in early to mid-December, I start looking for tools to help me accomplish goals in the upcoming year. Some work well for me. Others seem better suited for other people.

I have liked Trello for a couple of years, now. I like to use it as a “TODO” list thingy. It’s kind of nice to have something sort of like 3 x 5 cards that I can move around.

‘sSince I’ve been working as an adjunct instructor, I find that I gain vast amounts from learning what helps students keep up with their life. One of the tools I’ve been trying is HABITica. It holds to do lists, daily habits that need developing, etc. The intriguing thing is that it also turns your life into something of a video game. You get points for doing what you need to. You can lose points by not doing your dailies. You can get a group of friends together to “battle monsters.” I can see many positive uses for this tool.

If it sounds confusing, I probably did not explain it well. Check this video out.

I enjoyed HABITica for a week or more, but it feels distracting to me. I get my reward from checking things off my list.

Yes, I am a fuddy-duddy. 😉 It is backed to Trello for me!